Return to Home Page
Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Natural enemies gallery

Cover of Natural Enemies Handbook

Natural enemies are organisms that kill, decrease the reproductive potential of, or otherwise reduce the numbers of another organism. Natural enemies that limit pests are key components of integrated pest management programs. Important natural enemies of insect and mite pests include predators, parasites, and pathogens.

The UC IPM Natural Enemies Gallery includes natural enemy species commonly found on California farms and in landscapes. Additional species will be added over time.

For more information about natural enemies, purchase the Natural Enemies Handbook.

Predators | Parasites | List by order and family name | List by scientific name | List by pest


A predator is an organism that attacks, kills, and feeds on several to many other individuals (its prey) in its lifetime.

Common name Scientific name
Assassin bugs Reduviidae family
Bigeyed bugs Geocoris spp.
Brown lacewings Hemerobius spp.
Convergent lady beetle Hippodamia convergens
Damsel bugs Nabis spp.
Decollate snail Rumina decollata
Dustywings Conwentzia barretti
Euseius tularensis Euseius tularensis
Green lacewings Chrysopa spp., Chrysoperla spp.
Mantids Mantidae family
Mealybug destroyer Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
Minute pirate bugs Orius spp., Anthocoris spp.
Multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis
Phytoseiulus persimilis Phytoseiulus persimilis
Praying mantids Mantidae family
Predaceous ground beetles Carabidae family
Predaceous midge, aphid midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza
Sevenspotted lady beetle Coccinella septempunctata
Sixspotted thrips Scolothrips sexmaculatus
Soldier beetles, leather-winged beetles Cantharidae family
Spider mite destroyer lady beetle Stethorus picipes
Spiders Araneae order
Syrphid flies Syrphidae family
Twicestabbed lady beetle Chilocorus orbus
Vedalia beetle Rodolia cardinalis
Western predatory mite Galendromus occidentalis

Insect parasites (parasitoids)

Larval stages of insect parasites feed on or inside of other insects, killing their hosts. Adults are free-living wasps or flies.

Common name Scientific name
Anaphes species Anaphes iole, Anaphes nitens,
and other Anaphes spp.
Aphidius species Aphidius spp.
Aphytis spp., armored scale parasites Aphytis spp.
Bracon cushmani, grape leaffolder parasite Bracon cushmani
Citrus mealybug parasite Leptomastix dactylopii
Cotesia medicaginis, alfalfa butterfly parasite Cotesia medicaginis
Cottony cushion scale parasite Cryptochaetum iceryae
Elm leaf beetle parasite Erynniopsis antennata
Encarsia formosa, whitefly parasite Encarsia formosa
Hyposoter exiguae, caterpillar parasite Hyposoter exiguae
Lysiphlebus testaceipes, aphid parasite Lysiphlebus testaceipes
Tachinid flies Tachinidae family
Trichogramma spp., egg parasites Trichogramma spp.
Trioxys pallidus, walnut aphid parasite Trioxys pallidus